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Cowboys at Panthers: Each team’s X-factor player for Week 11

Who would you say are the X-factors entering Sunday’s Cowboys game?

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a strong win against an undermanned New York Giants team and now they turn the page to a one-win Carolina Panthers team who is struggling for answers in 2023.

While Bryce Young is talented, rookie quarterback’s tend to struggle and that seems to be the case this year as the entire Panthers team has had their fair share of woes this season.

Let’s take a closer look at this matchup and see who, on both teams, may end up being X-factors for Sunday’s game.

Dallas Cowboys X-factor:

Michael Gallup

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Michael Gallup being an x-factor this week is as much about the rest of the season as it is about this one game. We have now seen CeeDee Lamb ascend to elite status, we finally saw Brandin Cooks explode onto the scene, and despite his two receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown last week, more consistent production from Gallup’s opportunities could be vital for this team’s prospects this year.

Many around the fanbase have been calling for Jalen Tolbert to cut in on some of Gallup’s playing time - and they aren’t wrong for saying so, it’s simply just a good thing for this Cowboys team if Gallup is able to round into form for the home stretch.

Gallup’s touchdown grab against the Giants was vintage him. If he is able to continue to show that type of ability while also tightening up the mental mistakes, the Cowboys will have a complete arsenal of pass catchers the entire league will fear. You never want to look down on an opponent, but the schedule going forward is only going to get harder and if the Gallup can solidify his best and get right into his needed role, it will go a long way.

Carolina Panthers X-factor:

Bryce Young

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Any time it’s a rookie quarterback under center, that’s going to be the x-factor. Young’s play with be a massive impact on Sundays game and while it hasn’t been all that impressive this season, the talent is there and at some point it is going to all click for the young man. It’s the Cowboys job to not let it happen this week.

Head coach Frank Reich is taking over play-calling duties this week and while it’s another voice in the headset for Young, Reich has thrived in this role previously. The Cowboys need to get on Young early and often and stop Reich from establishing any type of rhythm for their offensive attack. Pressure is a rookie quarterbacks worst nightmare, and that’s what the Cowboys do best. Force the issue and you’ll force turnovers. If not, Young may be able to have his own welcome to the NFL moment against the Cowboys like we have seen other obscure QBs do in the past.

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